Dear Tunester, today you’ll learn 3 fresh activities to do with your 6-12 month old baby that will boost their development and amuse you both.
When I had small babies at home they changed so quickly that last week’s favorite activity quickly became old news. I scrambled to find new ways to stretch my baby’s mind and, more importantly, amuse us both.
So today I’ll offer 3 new ways to keep you both happily busy. But first – a question to figure out their stage of development –
If you take something away from your baby – do they look for it?
If they’ve started to show some signs of searching for a hidden toy, then they’ve hit an important milestone that psychologists call Object Permanence.
What does it mean to become aware of object permanence?
That your baby is learning and sensing that something continues to exist even when they can no longer see it.
That’s a big deal!! This development affects their cognitive, emotional and social development.
Here’s a quick rundown and how it affects their development. Then, scroll down to learn three activities your baby will love right about now.
Knowing an object continues to exist means knowing that YOU continue to exist even after you leave. Has your baby been crying more as you leave? If so, they may no longer accept it as a given. Now they have the knowledge that when they don’t see you you’re somewhere, just not with them.
Your baby’s disovery might be distressing for them at fist (and for you to hear their crying,) but its a necessary leap in their growth.
When your baby was an infant they were completely egocentric. Meaning, they couldn’t conceptualize a world that existed separate from their experience and point of view.
As they’ve grown your baby has been able ot develop a mental representation of things. Meaning, when you say banana they can imagine a banana in their mind even though they don’t see one in front of them.
When you take a toy away form your baby they might not cry as they did before. Instead, they’re able to contain they’re frustration and set about looking for where the toy went. That’s a big step in starting to manage difficult emotions and problem solve.
Now let’s talk about activities you can do that will spark your baby’s interest, develop their curiosity, and help them manage emotions that come with this new burgeoning awareness.
Step 1 – put a small object on the table. Let your baby see it and touch it. then cover it with an upside down cup. Can your baby find the object? If not, teach your baby what happened. Show them the steps again. Reveal the object underneath. Your baby might need several repetitions of this activity.
If your baby can find the object underneath, try step 2.
Step 2 – Take 3 cups and 1 small object. Now bring out your inner streetside magician. Put all of the cups upside down with one of them over the small object. Let your baby explore and find the object.
Peekaboo is wonderful for helping your baby practice object permanence and separation and reunion with you. Let’s try it a little differently this time.
Instead of you or or baby hiding behind a scarf as you usually do, use a doll or puppet and put the scarf over the puppet. Let the puppet say – “where is baby? Where are you?” And let your baby reveal the doll.
To add animals and even more fun to your peekaboo, try using this song.
For this activity you need is a box/basket/bowl. You’re going to fill your box with various objects – a beloved toy, day to day objects your baby doesn’t often see or play with, a book they love.
For the younger babies who are just learning object permanence, leave an object exposed so your baby knows to look under the cloth.
For the older babies cover the basket completely and hand it to your baby. Let them discover and explore the objects one by one. Then, put them all back in and do it again.
Which of these activities did your baby respond to most? Could you see their wheels turning as they were trying to understand where the objects went? Comment below and let me know.
In the middle of playing and your baby needs a diaper change? Try this hack to make it much easier and more enjoyable for you both.